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SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders

What if you knew data behind the fastest growing SaaS companies today? Each morning join Nathan Latka as he spends 15 minutes interviewing SaaS founders. You'll learn how SaaS CEO's launched their startup and grew it into a business. SaaS Founders range from bootstrapped to funded, MVP to 10,000 customers, pre revenue to pre IPO.
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Now displaying: 2016
Sep 4, 2016

Nick Gray, founder and CEO of Museum Hack. Nick thought museums were SO BORING!! Before he launched Museum Hack, he used word of mouth to advertise his idea and give free museum tours to his friends. Now his business is making over 1 million dollars per year.
Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – The Power of Full Engagement
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
Favorite online tool? — Revue
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No. Use SleepTracker.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – Do less drugs.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:40 – Nathan introduces Nick Gray
02:15 – How did you get into museums?
02:25 – “Renegade museum tours.”
02:40 – Revenue comes from charges for live tours
03:00 – Launched in 2013
03:10 – Over 10000 tours sold last year
03:20 – Total revenue was 1.3 million
03:30 – Average cost is $75 per tour
03:45 – Labor cost is $88 per person
04:15 – Net margin relies on high-end tours
04:40 – In the beginning, they got new customers from word of mouth
05:25 – First year revenue was $60k
05:45 – They want to attract people to keep coming back
06:00 – They need to up their repeat rate
06:15 – There are plenty of people to target
06:40 – He just started paying himself a salary
07:20 – His mom is his accountant
07:40 – He is learning to be a better CEO
07:50 – He supported himself with a full-time job at the beginning of the business
08:15 – He built up savings and committed to his museum business
08:40 – His last job gave him a very healthy salary
09:15 – He has always been a big saver
09:45 – His advice: Treating your passion like your job, and creating a demand by providing that product for free
10:30 – Some passions are worthless
10:45 – His team size is 12 full time and 25 part time, along with remote staff
11:15 – Expenses are up to $80k per month
11:40 – The pressure to break even does not worry him
12:10 – Moms and their lectures on receipts
13:10 – A connection with Trip Advisor
13:50 – “It was just a fluke.”
14:05 – His goal for this year is 2.2 million
14:15 – Museumhack.com and NickGray.net
15:45 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Create a demand for your product by offering it for free.
Treat your passion like your job until you can transition to that passion full time.
Build up your savings, and be willing to take risks.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Toptal – Great for business people to start building their app
The Power of Full Engagement - Nick’s favorite business book
Revue – Nick’s favorite online tool
NickGray.net – Read Nick’s weekly newsletters
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Sep 3, 2016

Chris Evans, cofounder of Traffic and Funnels. Surrounded by incredible entrepreneurs, Chris decided that it was his time to build a success empire. His business Traffic and Funnels has taken a smart approach to business: They have focused on their strengths to get revenue, and now they are ready to expand.
Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – King Icahn
What CEO do you follow? — Trump and Zuckerberg
Favorite online tool? — Slack
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — Yes
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – Find and invest in a mentor

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:35 – Nathan introduces Chris
01:55 – Chris worked with a lot of amazing entrepreneurs and decided to build his own empire
02:40 – He helps experts built client acquisition systems
03:00 – 1 $5500 product, and an upsell
03:25 – Traffic and Funnels is a slick website
03:40 – The numbers
03:50 -- $660000 in revenue for 2016 so far
04:30 – The problem with paid marketing
04:50 – Understanding the market and validating the product
05:15 – The biggest mistake is not understanding that market.
05:40 – The higher value products had a larger margin for error
06:00 – Cost to acquire a client is $400 to $700
06:15 – Solid revenue goals
06:40 – Advice for the info-product space
07:00 – Have clarity
07:30 – You need a target and a specialization
07:50 – Track your numbers and know what you need to break even
08:00 – How do you think about stages for scaling?
08:25 – The revenue must keep up with the spending.
08:50 – Know your business model and your plan.
09:10 – Work your way backwards.
09:25 – Take out any emotion.
09:45 – An evergreen business
10:00 – A launch-style business is more stressful up front
10:20 – You have to be smart and build credibility.
10:50 – Why this model?
11:10 – To build up a kiddy and launch their own evergreen info product
11:35 – Starting with their biggest strength
11:45 – Building stability and growing
12:10 – Taking on more employees does not scare him.
12:30 – They can get through adversity.
12:44 – Go to trafficandfunnels.com and Facebook.com/chrisaevans
14:55 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Start with your biggest strength until your business has stability.
Create a plan and work your way backwards.
Understand the market and validate your product.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
King Ichahn - Chris’ favorite business book
Slack – Chris’ favorite online tool
Toptal – Great for people to get access to software developers
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Sep 2, 2016

Jonathan Gass of Nomad Financial. Jonathan founded his company because he decided to focus his career on entrepreneurship and startups. His business works with startups to help them make smart financial plans and fundraising decisions. Today we’ll learn from him about what pitfalls to avoid in our own startups.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Give and Take
  • What CEO do you follow? — Johnny Rockefeller, of the book Titan
  • Favorite online tool? — Audible
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — I try for 7 to 8.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – Listen to your gut when you are making decisions. Focus on culture.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Nathan introduces Jonathan
  • 02:10 – His main focus is entrepreneurship
  • 02:25 – He saw the same problems with most startup founders
    • 02:50 – They weren’t setting up their accounting systems to support decision making
  • 03:10 – He worked for Vimeo a few years ago
    • 03:25 – They had to pitch what set them apart from YouTube and other companies
    • 03:55 – Building tools to support video makers
  • 04:10 – Nomad Financial generates revenue for a number of services, paid for by the hour.
  • 04:30 – Their employees specialize in helping startups
    • 05:25 – A role as an advocate
    • 05:45 – Pushback from auditors
    • 06:00 – Staying on top of trends
  • 06:20 – What is a 409a valuation?
    • 06:58 – Startups mix that up with a valuation for selling stock.
  • 07:30 – Mistakes early entrepreneurs make with cap tables
    • 07:40 – No consistent terms
    • 08:15 – Even the software can’t always solve those problems
    • 09:00 – Understanding the implications of sale
    • 09:15 – One man who had an option to sell his company, but wasn’t really going to make any money
    • 10:10 – Nathan’s interview with Teachable (Episode 117)
  • 11:00 – Explaining preferred shareholders
    • 11:35 – Investors that ask for really aggressive terms
    • 12:00 – Be careful with the terms in your agreement
  • 12:35 – Smart money vs. “plain dollars”
    • 12:55 – People who are there to actually help the business
    • 13:25 – Understanding the goals of your investors
    • 14:50 – The importance of a fit culture and a fit vision
  • 14:40 – The friendliest investor for the entrepreneur
    • 15:00 -- Great term sheets, and providing great value
  • 15:15 – Interplay investors
    • 16:10 – Jonathan is making about 4 or 5 investments each year.
    • 16:35 – Seed-stage and a-round investments
  • 17:00 – Why put a portion of your portfolio into startups?
    • 17:20 – You keep that portion for that, and you use the other portion for other things.
    • 17:45 – Living for entrepreneurship and believing in these startups.
  • 19:00 – Connect with Jonathan at j@nomadfinancial.com  and nomadfinancial.com
  • 20:45 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Set up your accounting to support decision making in your startup.
  • Be aware of your investor’s goals and what value they will contribute to your company.
  • You need a cohesive culture and vision, among founders and investors.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Give and Take – A business book that teaches philosophies Jonathan lives by
  • Interplay – A reliable team of investors and partners
  • Toptal – Great for people to get access to software developers
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Sep 1, 2016

Roy Man, CEO of Dapulse. Dapulse is a tool designed to solve “inherently problematic” management strategies in businesses. The company has a philosophy of being transparent with their revenue and numbers, all of which you can find on their Instagram page.
Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
What CEO do you follow? — Avishai Abrahami
Favorite online tool? — FullStory
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — No regrets.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan introduces Roy Man
01:50 – What is Dapulse?
01:55 – A management tool for your company
02:20 – Solving something that was “inherently problematic”
02:30 – A SaaS business launched in February 2014
03:00 – Currently over 5000 customers
03:20 – Each company, or customer, pays a certain amount, depending on their team size
03:50 – Total MRR in June was $360k
04:15 – See screenshots of their numbers on Instagram
04:50 – They have raised $9 million
05:00 – They started with raising $1.5 million
05:40 – The startup mentality
06:20 – Their valuation was 3.53 million
07:00 – A solid product with a good market
07:15 – A year of product marketing and finding what people were using for management
07:50 – “People think in tables.”
08:25 – The product market fit
08:45 – They started to launch and scale and did a convertible note
09:10 – Their last round of funding was $5 million, with a post valuation of $28.5 million
09:45 – First year revenue was less than a million
10:20 – Customer acquisition cost varies
11:10 – Average is about $600
11:55 – Monthly customer churn is 2%
12:20 – Negative revenue churn
13:30 – Lifetime value is great
14:20 – Churn is not relative in terms of money
14:40 – As you scale, some customers will leave
15:10 – Expand your customer circle as much as you can
15:25 – Team size is about 35
15:40 – Total 2015 revenue was about 3 million
16:35 – Connect with Roy at roy@dapulse.com
17:05 – Roy’s Blog on Medium
19:30 – The Famous Five
3 Key Points:
Create a product that has strong market potential.
Spend time getting to know what your customers will want out of your product or service.
Expand your customer circle as much as you can.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
FullStory – Roy’s favorite online tool
The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Roy’s business book recommendation
Toptal – Great for people to get access to software developers
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Aug 31, 2016

Max Pechersky, co-founder of PromoRepublic. His company focuses on helping marketing freelancers get new ideas and strategies for content marketing. As PromoRepublic continues to grow, the company is stretching its boundaries to provide more products for freelancers.
Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – Intercom on Product Management
What CEO do you follow? —
Favorite online tool? — Wunderlist
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — Almost never.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — It’s ok if someone doesn’t like me.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:20 – Nathan introduces Max
02:05 – The co-founder of PromoRepublic
03:00 – He owns thirty percent of the company
03:20 – It’s a software service that helps with content marketing.
03:45 – Solving the frustrations of marketing freelancers
04:10 – The business was founded at the end of 2013
04:45 – First year total revenue – 30000 euro
05:00 – Now he has 10k in recurring revenue
05:50 – Total customers: 600
06:10 – Customer pricing is about $12 per month
07:00 -- $650000 raised
07:30 – It was a grant and a soft loan.
08:00 – Churn monthly is 8%
08:50 – They had to decide which customers to focus on
09:30 – They moved to freelance marketers
09:50 – It’s about $100 in acquisition cost
10:30 – The average person stays for about a year.
11:14 – Additional revenue streams
11:25 – Social media templates
11:40 – Like stock photos for social media posts
12:00 – Max@PromoRepublic.com
13:30 – The Famous Five
3 Key Points:
Channel your product toward a specific market.
When you start to see success, look for additional revenue streams.
Come up with an idea that solves a fundamental problem.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Toptal – Great for business people to start building their app
Wunderlist – Max’s favorite online tool
Intercom on Product Management – Max’s favorite business book
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Aug 30, 2016

Brian Wong, who started his company Kiip after getting laid off. As his company has grown and matured, his cofounders have moved on. But Brian is incredible grateful for his company and believes in sticking to your decisions and putting your whole heart and soul into your business. Now Kiip is on track to make $20 million this year, so he must be doing something right.

 

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Predictably Irrational
  • What CEO do you follow? — Evan Spiegel
  • Favorite online tool? — Evernote
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Stop taking everything so seriously. Everything is going to work out.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:20 – Nathan introduces Brian
  • 01:50 – Kiip is embedded into apps, and it rewards you for achievements in those apps
  • 02:45 – 50/50 revenue share with brands who provide the rewards
  • 03:20 – The economics of partnering with a brand like Gatorade
    • 04:00 – Customers must claim the award for either company to get money
  • 05:00 – Why they use email to deliver the awards
  • 05:38 – Brian’s journey to where he is now, at age 25
    • 06:00 – He found himself in business development
    • 06:55 – Laid off in 2010
    • 07:00 – He met with a few venture capitalists, and a startup seemed like the right direction
    • 08:00 – He and his two cofounders got started
  • 08:30 – They started with $300k
  • 09:30 – Total capital now is $32 million
  • 09:45 – Last year’s revenue was $11 million
  • 10:00 – Margins are increasing as they are becoming more efficient
    • 10:40 – Reducing server costs, marketing costs, and creating different revenue streams
  • 11:25 – They have a unique revenue model that brings in “new money”
  • 12:35 – Engagement rate is 10%
  • 13:10 – Both of Brian’s cofounders have left to do other things
  • 13:45 – How Brian feels about his company’s growth
    • 14:15 – “At the end of the day, it’s what your exit is.”
    • 14:50 – He feels thankful for what he has with his company
    • 15:15 – “Make your decision and don’t look back.” You can always dream about what could be better or different, but follow through and stay committed to what you have.
  • 16:50 – Goal for 2016 is $20 million
  • 17:00 – Hopes to grow the margin more
  • 17:15 – Twitter @brian_wong and Snapchat at bwong91
  • 19:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • When you make a decision, completely commit to that decision.
  • It does no good to daydream about what could be better or different. Channel that energy into improving what you have.
  • Take advantage of an opportunity when it is put in front of you.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Evernote – Brian’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 29, 2016

Deepak Goel, the mastermind behind his new company  KarmaCircles. Deepak says the company is the next-generation LinkedIn. He believes he has found his calling in life as an entrepreneur in the social networking niche.

 

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Give and Take
  • What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn
  • Favorite online tool? — Mint, Appear.in
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — Absolutely.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t stay in a company for more than two years.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Deepak
  • 01:50 – KarmaCircles is an app that connects entrepreneurs with successful business people
  • 02:55 – Pilots with business schools and corporate companies
  • 03:15 – No money the first year
  • 03:30 – What companies are similar to KarmaCircles
    • 04:20 – A LinkedIn of the future
  • 05:00 – All free pilots right now
    • 05:45 – Why they are not charging for the app now
  • 06:40 – Will the customers pay when they make that shift?
    • 07:10 – If customers like the product, they will stay
  • 07:40 – Target annual contract value size
    • 07:55 – 500 users per month for business schools
    • 08:45 – It can be used by any company that does networking
    • 09:00 – Much larger contracts for corporate companies
  • 10:10 – Capital from six angel investors
  • 10:40 – 6 people on their team
    • 10:50 – They pay $3000/month for six engineers
  • 11:40 – Differences between them and the company Clarity
  • 12:00 – Social networking is Deepak’s “life calling”
  • 13:00 – Karmacircles.com/Deepak
  • 15:00 – Giving of yourself for free will circle back to you
  • 15:45 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  • Find the industry that you were made for.
  • If you give to others freely, you will see karma come back around to you.
  • Believe in your business and set high expectations.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Mint – Deepak’s favorite online tool
  • Appear.in – A video conversation tool that requires no download
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 28, 2016

Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO of AdEspresso. His company, founded in 2013, is now so profitable that he says they don’t need fundraising! Massimo sees only growth for AdEspresso in the future as Facebook ads continue to evolve and improve.

 

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Predictably Irrational
  • What CEO do you follow? — Rand Fishkin
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t start a startup. Get some experience for a corporate business first.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Massimo
  • 01:30 – AdEspresso was first on The Top on Episode 70
  • 01:50 – Focus on growing and reducing churn
  • 02:25 – Revenue is about $400k/month
  • 02:38 – 2015 total revenue was $3M
  • 02:50 – Fundraising has reached $1.8 Million
  • 03:30 – “We have been profitable this last year, so we don’t need the money.”
  • 04:00 – More than 4000 customers
  • 04:45 – Learn about AdEspresso at Adespresso.com
  • 05:00 – Churn is 7% and is decreasing
  • 06:00 – How long their customers stay
  • 07:10 – 35 people on their team
  • 07:20 – Monthly expenses are around $280k
  • 07:45 – They are growing by at least 15% every month
  • 08:00 – How the company is sustainable
  • 08:30 – Customer acquisition is less than $10
  • 08:45 – Paid acquisition is only content promotion
  • 09:20 – They were founded in 2013
  • 09:30 – What would Massimo sell his company for?
  • 10:20 – @MassimoCw on Twitter or massimo@adespresso.com
  • 12:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Allow yourself to gain knowledge from different experiences.
  • Find ways to lower your acquisition costs.
  • Get into an industry that has a long life ahead of it.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • HubSpot – Massimo’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 28, 2016

Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO of AdEspresso. His company, founded in 2013, is now so profitable that he says they don’t need fundraising! Massimo sees only growth for AdEspresso in the future as Facebook ads continue to evolve and improve.

 

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Predictably Irrational
  • What CEO do you follow? — Rand Fishkin
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t start a startup. Get some experience for a corporate business first.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Massimo
  • 01:30 – AdEspresso was first on The Top on Episode 70
  • 01:50 – Focus on growing and reducing churn
  • 02:25 – Revenue is about $400k/month
  • 02:38 – 2015 total revenue was $3M
  • 02:50 – Fundraising has reached $1.8 Million
  • 03:30 – “We have been profitable this last year, so we don’t need the money.”
  • 04:00 – More than 4000 customers
  • 04:45 – Learn about AdEspresso at Adespresso.com
  • 05:00 – Churn is 7% and is decreasing
  • 06:00 – How long their customers stay
  • 07:10 – 35 people on their team
  • 07:20 – Monthly expenses are around $280k
  • 07:45 – They are growing by at least 15% every month
  • 08:00 – How the company is sustainable
  • 08:30 – Customer acquisition is less than $10
  • 08:45 – Paid acquisition is only content promotion
  • 09:20 – They were founded in 2013
  • 09:30 – What would Massimo sell his company for?
  • 10:20 – @MassimoCw on Twitter or massimo@adespresso.com
  • 12:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Allow yourself to gain knowledge from different experiences.
  • Find ways to lower your acquisition costs.
  • Get into an industry that has a long life ahead of it.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • HubSpot – Massimo’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 27, 2016

Adam Tishman, cofounder of Helix Sleep. His company gives every customer a custom-made mattress that is even more affordable then retail brands. With several options, customers can come up with hundreds of different combinations to build their perfect, individualized mattress. Learn about Helix Sleep’s goals to continue expanding and to provide the best customer experience.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Made to Stick
  • What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Gross
  • Favorite online tool? — Moat.com
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—About 7.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Learn about customer lifetime value and customer acquisition. Take risks earlier.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Adam
  • 01:45 – Helix Sleep
  • 01:55 – Custom-made mattresses
  • 02:20 – The price is always the same for the consumer
  • 02:50 – Costs to produce are up to $500 in the mattress industry
  • 03:50 – Net margin
  • 04:20 – Growth of the business
  • 04:35 – Founded a year ago
  • 04:45 – Thousands of mattresses already sold
  • 05:10 – Acquisition
  • 05:40 – Podcasts and radio
    • 06:30 – Really successful in the mattress industry
  • 07:05 – A business model that they can scale
  • 08:10 – A simple game, with one product
  • 08:30 – They use their revenue to fuel growth
  • 09:50 – Capital
    • 10:10 – Seed round just under $1M
  • 10:45 – Team of 16
  • 11:00 – First year revenue was lower than their monthly revenue now
  • 11:55 – The technology
    • 12:10 – An algorithm to make the customized mattresses
    • 12:25 – Coding is outsourced
  • 13:10 – The process for finding a developer on Toptal
    • 14:25 – Everyone is pre-screened
    • 14:50 – Legally, you still own the code
    • 15:20 – More affordable
  • 16:10 – Why they chose Toptal
  • 17:00 – Churn is not a focus for this type of business
  • 17:40 – Focus on building the brand
  • 17:55 – The customer experience
  • 18:14 – Hundreds of skews
  • 19:35 – Goals for 2016
  • 20:35 – helixsleep.com, blog.helixsleep.com, and Adam Tishman on LinkedIn or adam@helixsleep.com
  • 23:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Find a way to provide high-quality products at a more affordable price.
  • Take risks earlier, and jump up the business ladder.
  • Come up with a business model that can be scaled.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Moat.com – Adam’s favorite online tool to see how he compares to his competitors
  • Toptal – A platform for finding freelancers
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 26, 2016

Michael Hollauf, cofounder and CEO of MeisterLabs. The company works to provide resources to collaborate across digital platforms. Now they are introducing a new service, MeisterTask, which focuses on better task management and a fun user experience. Hear about how MeisterLabs has hit the ground running and is continuing to introduce new tools to help businesses and entrepreneurs succeed.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Rich Dad Poor Dad
  • What CEO do you follow? — Stewart Butterfield
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Buy a flat in London. Be bold. Do it earlier.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Michael
  • 01:35 – Managing director of MeisterLabs
  • 02:20 – MeisterTask
  • 03:10 – Trello was their inspiration
    • 03:40 – Better task management
    • 04:00 – Something more fun to use and focused on tasks
  • 04:15 – 550000 users
  • 05:10 – 60% of the downloads are through the app store
  • 05:30 – Some features only available in the premium model
  • 06:00 – 5000 paying customers
  • 06:50 – Why people upgrade
    • 07:00 – Better integration
  • 07:20 – Funding
  • 08:00 – MeisterTask revenue for 2015 was $20k
  • 08:20 – MindMeister was $2.5 M
    • 08:35 – Monthly recurring was $220k
    • 09:00 – 5 million users
    • 09:15 – 30000 paying customers
    • Collaboration for mind maps
  • 10:10 – Cost to acquire a new customer is about $30
  • 10:30 – 27% annual churn
  • 11:50 – Average customer stays for about 20 months
    • 12:05 – Monthly plan was changed to a longer plan, which increased retention
  • 12:30 – How MindMeister is growing
    • 12:40 – about $25k/month on Google Ads
    • 13:00 – best keyword is “mind mapping”
  • 13:30 – Competitors
  • 14:00 – Goal for the business is to create a suite of products
  • 14:50 – MeisterTask valuation
  • 16:00 – Michael Hollauf on LinkedIn
  • 16:22 – michael@meisterlabs.com
  • 28:35 -- The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Don’t be afraid to draw from ideas of existing companies.
  • Establish your end goal for your business.
  • Be bold. Start your business early.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Trello – A similar service to MeisterTask that inspired Michael
  • Slack -- Another online tool that inspires Michael and his team
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 25, 2016

Jon Lee, CEO of ProsperWorks. Jon has jumped to many different industries, from gaming to tech to banking. As an entrepreneur with success in multiple companies, he believes in going after your business goals as soon as possible. Listen to his journey through his businesses and how he ended up with ProsperWorks.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? — Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Apps
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Start your companies earlier.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Jon Lee
  • 02:10 – “Banking to tech to Yahoo to gaming”
  • 02:40 – He saw a need for advertisers when he worked for Yahoo
  • 03:10 – Bizarre Advertising
  • 03:25 – They automated the business
  • 04:10 – How they got revenue
  • 04:35 – Started in their apartment in Palo Alto
  • 04:50 -- $47-million business in two years
  • 05:10 – Applied algorithms to find success
  • 05:35 – Bound to confidentiality on the exit value
  • 06:00 – Balance between cost and revenue
  • 06:40 – How he got into the gaming industry
  • 06:45 – Background in mathematics
  • 07:00 – DNA games
  • 07:15 – They could provide different gaming experiences according to the customer
  • 08:00 – Stickiness is measured according to a customer’s engagement
  • 08:20 – Lifetime value helped companies build better games and make more money
  • 09:10 – They sold when Facebook changed their gaming policies
  • 09:50 – They partnered with a larger company
  • 10:10 – ChefVille
  • 10:40 – A good exit for the investors and the company
  • 11:00 – ProsperWorks
  • 12:00 – CRM
  • 12:10 – Partnering with Google Apps
  • 12:30 – Problems with bad data
  • 13:00 – Automating the data entry
  • 13:30 – They have raised of $10 million
  • 14:20 – Founded in 2011
  • 14:30 – A SaaS platform
  • 14:40 – 40000 customers
  • 14:55 -- The Famous Five
  • 15:00 – Profitable sales and marketing
  • 15:15 – Free two-week trial
  • 15:45 – You want a profitable acquisition
  • 16:00 – Focus on building great partnerships and relationships
  • 16:35 – For every $1 spent, they get a $6 return
  • 17:10 – A less mature product needs funding to get customer feedback
  • 17:35 – Team of 67
  • 17:50 – Diminishing marginal returns
  • 18:15 – Invest and get the right type of customer
  • 18:30 – Building up the sales team
  • 19:15 – Average customer pays $49
  • 19:50 – Majority of their contracts are annual
  • 20:30 – Focus to build a useful product
  • 21:00 – Attracting small and medium-sized businesses
  • 21:30 – Revenue churn is negative
  • 23:00 – Jon Lee on LinkedIn or Twitter @prosperworks

 

3 Key Points:

  • If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, pursue your ideas immediately.
  • Be realistic about what is best for your company.
  • Partner with big companies to gain credibility.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Google Apps – The online tool that has partnered with ProsperWorks
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 24, 2016

Kevin Davis, who came up with a creative solution for tech support. After waiting weeks to get his computer back from the Geek Squad, he thought there had to be a quicker, better solution. He created Geekatoo as a platform for people to find tech experts in their own neighborhoods.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Jason Calacanis’s Podcast
  • What CEO do you follow? — Not really, I look at other marketplaces.
  • Favorite online tool? — Base
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Make sure that you get your startup out as soon as possible.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Kevin
  • 01:50 – Musician, tech guy, and geek
  • 02:10 – Geekatoo, “like an Uber for tech support”
  • 03:00 – They started out aiming for a nationwide company
  • 04:10 – A platform
  • 04:50 – Founded in 2010
  • 04:55 – First-year revenue was literally nothing
    • 05:30 – It took over a year to get the product out
    • 06:20 – He supported himself by living back home
  • 07:00 – Now it is much quicker to bootstrap a launch
  • 07:45 – They take a percentage for every job that comes through
  • 08:00 – Switched to solving larger-level problems
  • 08:50 – Three different plans and other services
  • 09:30 – Customers are covered for the long term
  • 10:00 – Onboarding takes people from one service to a monthly plan
  • 10:30 – Total customers is 40000
  • 10:50 -- $2.7 M in capital
  • 11:10 – 2015 revenue was almost $4 M
  • 11:25 – Biggest costs
    • 11:50 – Provider payout and overseas center
    • 12:25 – Ad words
  • 13:20 – A focus on positive economics
  • 14:15 – Average project value is about $130
    • 14:40 – Acquisition cost is $20 to $30
    • 15:15 – A large volume of customers had $0 acquisition cost
  • 16:00 – Reasoning behind the merger with HelloTech
    • 17:35 – “A bigger pie”
    • 18:00 – New partners coming forward
  • 18:35 – kevin@hellotech.com or @geekatoo on Twitter
  • 21:15 -- The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Don’t worry about perfecting your business—get it out there as quickly as possible
  • Do what is best to help your business grow.
  • Find a simple way to communicate with your customers.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Base – Kevin’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 23, 2016

Byron Walker, owner of Survival Frog. Byron is passionate about scaling businesses that will change the world. Hear the breakdown of Survival Frog and what launched this company into huge success.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Ready Aim Fire!
  • What CEO do you follow? — No
  • Favorite online tool? — Evernote
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Yes.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Welcome adversity.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan introduces Byron
  • 01:40 – Survival Frog
  • 02:00 -- $4.7 million last year
  • 02:20 – Started in 2009
  • 02:30 – Info publishing company
  • 03:00 – One product exploded in 2012
    • 03:30 – 500000 purchases
  • 03:50 – How they got the first sales
    • 04:00 – Paid traffic
    • 04:10 – Banner ads and paid email
  • 04:20 – What is paid email
    • 05:15 – Conversations are around 3 to 5 percent
  • 05:20 – Split testing to find the right price
  • 05:55 – Upsells make money for them
  • 06:15 – Average profit is $5
  • 06:30 – Over a million spent on paid marketing
  • 07:00 – How to buy email lists
    • 07:15 – List brokers
    • 07:40 – Dedicated Emails, Bryan Litman
    • 07:50 -- James R. Whalen
  • 08:30 – Short emails get people to the landing page
  • 08:55 – Now they are 100% physical products
  • 09:50 – Gross margin is up to 35% this year
  • 10:15 – 15 team members
  • 10:40 – Products are sourced and bought in bulk
  • 11:50 – Buying power with companies
  • 12:10 – Forecasting the right amount of inventory
  • 12:45 – LinkedIn or survivalfrog.com
  • 14:40 – Discovery Channel on Blue Collar Backers
  • 16:30 – Hundreds of thousands of units moved
  • 17:00 – Profit in 2015 was $500k
  • 17:35 – Valuation for the business
  • 18:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Adjust your business model to improve your margins.
  • Challenges in your life will put you on a better, more rewarding path.
  • Continue doing what you are passionate about.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • James R. Whalen and Dedicated Emails – Email list brokers
  • Evernote – Byron’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 22, 2016

Hamza Amir, who is the CEO of Blurbiz. As a marketing guru working for household names like Disney and Coca-Cola, Hamza saw a problem in the industry with mobile videos. He kept hearing the same complaints, but no one was doing anything about it. Hamza came up with the solution when he created Blurbiz.

 

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Zero to One
  • What CEO do you follow? — Mark Suster: msuster on Snapchat
  • Favorite online tool? — Scoutapp
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Move to Silicon Valley faster.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Hamza
  • 01:40 – He is not the guy behind the Chewbacca mask
  • 02:00 – Blurbiz assists with mobile ad videos
  • 03:00 – Up to $5000/month per account
  • 03:20 – 20 customers right now
  • 03:40 – He used to do influencer marketing work
    • 04:05 – He saw a gap in mobile content
  • 04:35 – Blurbiz was the solution to that gap
  • 04:40 – Expected to raise $2 M by the end of the month
  • 05:05 – They are working out terms with a new investor
  • 05:20 – Angel funding
  • 07:00 – His advice for entrepreneurs about investing
  • 07:20 – Competitors
  • 08:00 – “Fundraising is more of an art than a science.”
  • 09:05 – How to use the service
    • 09:20 – Create and publish a video from your mobile device
    • 09:50 – Creating a Snapchat through Blurbiz
  • 10:50 – Allowing companies to use different platforms
  • 12:20 – Funds go to the business first. Anything left over goes to salaries.
    • 13:00 – Salary was $2500 last month
  • 13:20 – Twitter: @hamza3amir and Snapchat: hamza3amir
  • 16:00 -- The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  • If there is a persistent problem in an industry, come up with a solution.
  • Understand the best types of fundraising for your new business.
  • Make a business that stems from your expertise.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Scoutapp – Hamza’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

 

Aug 21, 2016

Danavir Sarria. After working as a freelance copywriter, Danavir wanted to stop working with clients and start working for himself. He created CopyMonk, a service that teaches people how to increase sales by producing effective copy. At only 22 years old, Danavir is making a place for himself as an expert copywriter.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Rework
  • What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuck
  • Favorite online tool? — MindMeister
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Yes.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Focus on your efforts, and not on your passion.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Danavir
  • 01:40 – CopyMonk
  • 02:15 – Total revenue is $6k in two months
  • 02:30 – How he became a copywriting expert
  • 03:00 – 1700 people on his email list
  • 03:40 – 40 sales over four days
  • 04:20 – How to manage his email list
    • 04:45 – Teach people and build a relationship
  • 06:00 – How you know if someone is a good copywriter
    • 06:30 – Sales and good engagement
    • 07:00 – Knows copy and marketing
    • 08:00 – Connecting with people who read your content
  • 08:15 – Freelance copywriting
  • 09:30 – Working with clients makes it hard to see results
  • 10:20 – How he improved one business
  • 11:30 – Client work vs. working for himself
  • 12:25 – Copymonk.com or their Facebook page
  • 14:25 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Focus on your efforts and your expertise.
  • If you don’t like working under someone else, start your own business.
  • When you write copy, find ways to connect to your audience.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • MindMeister – Danavir’s favorite online tool
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 20, 2016

Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu. Joe enjoys working in the publishing industry because it is driven by passion. It is a collective space for people who are moved about something to experience that thing together. Listen as Joe talks about Issuu, which has brought the publishing industry into a modern, digital context.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing about Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? — Mark Zuckerberg
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Not now.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Put in effort to make an impact. Have a broader learning perspective. Care and effort matter over anything else.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Joe
  • 01:40 –  Issuu is a modern media company
  • 02:20 – Tools for publishers
  • 02:45 – Access to premium tools brings in revenue
  • 03:05 – Revenue from Issuu itself
  • 03:40 – Started in Copenhagen
  • 03:55 – A more current platform of digital media
  • 04:15 – He was not part of the original founding team
  • 04:50 – A focus on giving great content to people who are passionate about it
  • 05:20 – It grew through word of mouth and digital marketing
  • 05:30 – Over 3 million publishers have used Issuu
  • 06:20 – Almost 100,000 publishers had paid for the service
  • 06:40 – Primarily recurring revenue payment
  • 07:30 – 90% of revenue is recurring revenue
  • 08:15 – The new subscription plan
  • 08:45 – Most pay $35/month
  • 09:30 – Publishers come and go
  • 10:00 – Customer churn is 2%/month
  • 10:30 – Focus is to help the customers
  • 10:50 – The new plan helps with collaborative efforts
  • 12:00 – Center of the business is in the west coast
  • 12:40 – Raised $21 million
  • 13:30 – His focus is to create products that have an impact
  • 14:40 – Team of 60 people
  • 15:20 – Acquisition costs
    • 15:30 – Not much is spent on marketing
    • 15:50 – They are found through search engines and word of mouth
    • 16:10 – “We’re clearly the leader in the space.”
    • 16:40 – About $40/customer
  • 17:30 – Customers see the value
  • 18:00 – Why publishing?
    • 18:20 – “It’s about what moves people in their lives.”
    • 18:50 – Example of Malala’s birthday celebration
  • 19:35 – Getting publishers into podcasting
  • 20:00 -- @yankeejoe or jhy@issue.com
  • 22:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • Get into an industry that you are passionate about.
  • Take an ancient product or service and update it for today’s world.
  • Focus on doing what’s best for your customers.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Slack – The online tool Joe uses
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 19, 2016

Julie Fredrickson from Stowaway Cosmetics. Have you ever felt like your purse was so heavy it could take someone out with one swing? Every lip gloss, concealer, and eyeliner really adds up! Julie has a found a solution to this problem with Stowaway Cosmetics, which focuses on creating a more mobile product for women on the go. Listen as she tells us how she has transformed the beauty industry with products that actually get used.

Famous Five:

 

  • Favorite Book? – Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuck
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Apps
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Religiously.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t be a jerk. Being kind costs you nothing.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Julie
  • 01:30 – Stowaway Cosmetics is about mobile products that women can use anywhere
  • 02:10 – Launched 18 months ago
  • 02:25 – Learning to run an effective ecommerce business
  • 02:35 -- $1.5 M in capital
    • 02:45 – Equity
    • 03:15 – Valuation is private at an early stage
    • 03:45 – A good valuation is a balance
    • 05:15 – Gary Vaynerchuck
  • 05:40 – The beauty industry has been giving out products that people don’t finish
  • 06:50 – Brands need to see more repeat purchasing
  • 07:25 – Margins for a palette of eyeshadow
  • 08:10 – Effective and a better value than their competitors
  • 08:30 – Direct consumers
  • 08:45 – A normal margin is about 50% through retailers
  • 09:20 – Their margin is about 85%
  • 09:45 – Monopolies in the makeup industry
  • 10:15 – “You should have a choice as a consumer to carry a product that fits your lifestyle.”
  • 11:00 – Weighing down your purse with cosmetics
  • 11:35 – Launched in Feb 2015
  • 12:00 – Fundraising started in early 2014
  • 12:15 – Valuation was based on pre-sales
  • 13:25 – Influence in the marketplace
  • 14:05 – Passed $100k in lipsticks sold
  • 14:20 – Their focus changed to repeat purchasing and having a comfortable growing rate
  • 15:20 – Now they spend nothing on marketing
  • 16:25 – They care more about repeat customers than getting more customers
  • 17:30 – On average, women come back to purchase again in 90 days
    • 18:20 – 40% have made at least 3 purchases
    • 19:00 – minimalists vs. maximalists
  • 19:30 – Follow at Julie at @stowaway on Twitter and on Anchor
  • 21:55 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  • Find a problem and do the research to come up with a good solution.
  • Look at a particular industry and evaluate where its setbacks are.
  • Develop a relationship with your customers.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Google Apps – Julie’s favorite online tool for her business
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
Aug 17, 2016

Phil Alexander, founder and CEO of ConceptDrop. His company has a mission to get your projects done while you’re sleeping. You can send your project to ConceptDrop and expect to see the end result within mere hours. Listen as Phil tells us about the incredible growth of his business and what he sees for ConceptDrop in the future.


Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – The Wall Street Journal
What CEO do you follow? — Sundar Pichai
Favorite online tool? — Hubspot
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — You’re not going to learn everything in business school. Start selling as soon as you can.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:05 – Nathan introduces Phil
01:40 – ConceptDrop
02:05 – Servicing over 300 brands
02:25 – A global network of sellers
02:58 – About 30% taken from the sellers
03:25 – They set the prices
03:48 – Upselling to the buyers
04:10 – The average buyer
04:25 – Started in 2012
04:50 – First-year revenue was a couple thousand
05:10 – Funds raised
06:00 – Valuation was between $5 to $7 million
06:20 – Reasons for the valuation come down mostly to growth rate
07:15 – Investors
07:30 – 300 buyers, and under 100 sellers
08:00 – Average seller makes $500 per project, with 4 to 5 projects each month
08:55 – Seeing great growth
09:40 -- $10,000/month to much higher
10:35 – Repurchase rates
11:24 – Total revenue for 2015 was just under $300k
11:55 – Last month, 50 companies used the platform
12:45 – Small, high-quality pool of freelancers
13:10 – A lot of potential in the near future
14:20 – phil@conceptdrop.com, @philalexander1 on Twitter
16:30 -- The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
There is no perfect formula for starting a business.
High-quality service is a great way to make your business stand out.
Assess your business for its potential.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Hubspot – Phil’s favorite online tool for marketing and sales
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Aug 16, 2016

Yahya Mokhtarzada, co-founder of Truebill. Truebill is a free online tool designed to keep track of all of your monthly subscriptions and find ways to save you money. With so many products requiring a subscription fee, Truebill keeps your bills more organized and paid on time.

Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – Onward
What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
Favorite online tool? — Ahrefs
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No chance.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Take bigger risks.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan introduces Yahya
1:30 – Truebill keeps track of recurring bills and subscriptions
2:00 – Free for users
2:20 – Looking at transactions and making recommendations
2:50 – Business development deals
3:20 – Launched in January 2016
03:40 – Healthy growth each month
04:00 – Up to $50k/month at the end of the year
04:20 – Saving other people money
04:45 –$1.75 million in capital
05:15 – Agreement for future equity
06:20 – User data
06:40 – Deals with businesses for advertising
07:50 – Introducing users to the products of those businesses
09:00 – Total users signed up are 50000
09:25 – Activation metrics
09:50 – Different options to explore for the future
10:30 – “the low-hanging fruit”
11:10 – blog.truebill.com
13:10 -- The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Consider taking bigger risks when you can afford to do so.
Focus your business model on helping other people.
Start with “the low-hanging fruit” to get your business going.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Ahrefs – Yahya’s favorite online tool for assistance with SEO.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Aug 14, 2016

Raj Bhaskar, CEO and cofounder of Hurdlr. Hurdlr is an online tool that helps freelancers and entrepreneurs track their income and taxes. It helps people save money by calculating deductions within seconds. Nathan and Raj will discuss the beginning of Hurdlr and where they are headed in the future.
Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – The One Thing
What CEO do you follow? — Gary Keller
Favorite online tool? — Google Drive, Freshbooks
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Don’t be so serious.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:03 – Nathan introduces Raj
02:15 – VisualHOMES acquisition price
02:35 – Revenue model
03:10 – Using proceeds from that as an investor and for Hurdlr
03:25 – Hurdlr launched a couple years ago
03:40 – It tracks finances and taxes for freelancers
04:25 – Competitors
04:40 – “Like Mint but for business.”
05:15 – Quick process compared to competitors
05:55 – They integrate with Freshbooks
06:20 – The business model
06:30 – They are currently pre-revenue
06:45 – Monthly or annual fee
07:10 – Other mobile solutions are different
07:40 – They have no desktop product
08:00 – Mobile is fast
08:30 – Founded 2.5 years ago
08:50 – Costs started in 2014
09:10 – Capital has been over $1.5 million
09:50 – 16 fulltime employees
10:25 – Usage metrics
10:45 – Mileage tracking
11:15 – Syncing with credit card
11:30 – Tens of thousands users, with 70% active once a month
12:00 – Pricing plan
12:20 – Simple and “part of the customer experience”
12:40 – “Pricing should bring a smile to your face.”
13:00 – Referrals
13:15 – Tracking savings through deductions
13:40 – The option to continue paying a monthly fee
14:10 – hurdlr.com with real-time chat
16:15 -- The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Come up with a pricing model that you would feel comfortable paying.
Find a niche that sets you apart.
Use new technology to come up with helpful solutions.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Google Drive and Freshbooks -- Raj’s favorite tools, besides Hurdlr
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

Aug 13, 2016

Cory Gregory, a fourth-generation coalminer who has made it to the top in the fitness industry. Cory has now developed his personal brand on his website where people can pay $8.99 per month to get his top workout plans and his daily articles and videos on how to get into incredible shape.


Famous Five:

Favorite Book? – Rich Dad Poor Dad
What CEO do you follow? — Bill Phillips
Favorite online tool? — Quickbooks
Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Have a strong strategy early.

Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:03 – Nathan introduces Cory
01:30 – Most money is in selling memberships and books on his internet business
02:00 -- $8.99/month membership
02:15 – Products in 100 countries
02:30 – Cofounder of MusclePharm
02:55 – Now a public company
03:15 – “A lot of Wall Street and a lot of boardrooms just really wasn’t for me.”
03:40 – Now owns 3%
04:00 – Went public in 2010
04:30 -- $40 million raised in capital
05:35 – “I learned a ton…. It changed my life forever.”
05:50 – He left the business about 9 months ago.
06:20 – “That thing’s bleeding cash.”
06:35 – Cory was in the programming and products side
06:50 – Proper management was a downfall
07:20 – “It was a rise to the top.”
07:40 -- $160 million in revenue
08:00 – Marketing was huge
08:40 -- Creating a personal brand
09:00 – “I feel blessed.”
09:20 – First gym started for $5000
09:30 -- The Old School Gym
09:40 -- $100k in memberships
10:00 – Biggest expenses
10:40 – six-figures in profit
11:20 – Revenue is more than $100k
11:40 – MusclePharm started at 30 years old
11:55 – corygfitness.com
12:05 – five 4-week plans every month
12:30 – Articles and videos every day
13:00 – Thousands of people use his monthly plan
13:20 – The reason for his vagueness
14:10 – Total revenue was $34k in his first month for his personal brand
15:20 – “There is nobody on the planet who can say they have done what I’ve done.”
16:20 – corygfitness.com, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram
16:40 – Business and Biceps podcast
19:00 -- The Famous Five

3 Key Points:
Don’t be confined to the environment you were raised in.
Develop your personal brand.
Find ways to make your service stand out.

Resources Mentioned:
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Quickbooks -- Cory’s favorite invoicing tool
Business and Biceps – Cory’s podcast
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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